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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Raising Kids with The Thumb

Adults use a range of parenting strategies to control kids. Whether it's to shut them up, or to get them to behave, these strategies are purportedly for their own good. The typical warnings usually sound like this:

Mom: Don't climb the stairs! There's monsters up there! They bite bite! Scared scared!


or like this,
Mom: You'd better behave yourself. Look! The auntie there scold scold! Scared scared!


The basic rule of thumb here is FEAR. Strike fear into their hearts, and they shall be under your control.
But come to think of it, it's hard not to wonder how that child will turn out in later years. I mean, under all the barrage of fear inflicted upon them, wouldn't they grow up to be scared of a lot of things like dark places, & will stay away from any public places like the supermarket & cheap sales usually frequented by tons of aunties?

But all the same, I read that parenting is more of an art rather than science. There are no exact measurements & no right or wrong techniques.

Many a times when the child is rolling & doing breakdancing-like flips on the floor of Toys r Us, you'll know that the only thing that he's gonna get is the CANE. There's lots of situations like this where logic doesn't work with them anymore.


Well, I'm not one who's qualified to give the right advice on parenting. I can confidently assume that if you throw a kid to me, I'll be directly under their total control. They will spin me like a yoyo & ride my back till it breaks.

Hey pops. Move it!

I don't know about other kids, but a looong time ago there was this thumb technique which worked for me everytime when I was faced with my little bratty brother.


The thumb is actually a very interesting instrument. It's used by hitchikers.



It's also used in Roger Ebert's film reviews.



And the emperor of Rome used it to indicate life or death for the gladiators.


I never knew that a single thumb could be that powerful. With a single flip upwards (you're going to Heaven), & a single flip downwards (It's Hell for you kiddo!), I had my little brother on remote control. He responded well cos he wanted to go to Heaven real bad.

I know he looks as harmless as a little puppy. But back then, this little tiger was no puppy. Anyway, in the end he grew up ok.

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